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Gambia, The Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewThe government has invested in the agriculture sector because three-quarters of the population depends on the sector for its livelihood and agriculture provides for about one-third of GDP, making The Gambia largely reliant on sufficient rainfall. The agricultural sector has untapped potential - less than half of arable land is cultivated and agricultural productivity is low. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of cashews, groundnuts, fish, and hides. The Gambia's re-export trade accounts for almost 80% of goods exports and China has been its largest trade partner for both exports and imports for several years.

The Gambia has sparse natural resource deposits. It relies heavily on remittances from workers overseas and tourist receipts. Remittance inflows to The Gambia amount to about one-fifth of the country’s GDP. The Gambia's location on the ocean and proximity to Europe has made it one of the most frequented tourist destinations in West Africa, boosted by private sector investments in eco-tourism and facilities. Tourism normally brings in about 20% of GDP, but it suffered in 2014 from tourists’ fears of Ebola virus in neighboring West African countries. Unemployment and underemployment remain high.

Economic progress depends on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management, and on continued technical assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors. International donors and lenders were concerned about the quality of fiscal management under the administration of former President Yahya Jammeh, who reportedly stole hundreds of millions of dollars of the country’s funds during his 22 years in power, but anticipate significant improvements under the new administration of President Adama BARROW, who assumed power on January 19, 2017. As of April 2017, the IMF, the World Bank, the European Union, and the African Development Bank were all negotiating with the new government of The Gambia to provide financial support in the coming months to ease the country’s financial crisis.

The country’s GDP contracted in 2016 largely as a result of the limited availability of foreign exchange, weak agricultural output, the border closure with Senegal during the first half of the year, and a slowdown in tourism during the political impasse that occurred at the height of the tourist season. The country faces a large fiscal deficit and a high domestic debt burden that has crowded out private sector investment and driven interest rates to new highs. The new government has committed to taking steps to reduce the deficit, including through expenditure caps, debt consolidation, and reform of state-owned enterprises.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.387 billion (2016 est.)
$3.31 billion (2015 est.)
$3.172 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$886 million (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.3% (2016 est.)
4.4% (2015 est.)
-0.2% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,700 (2016 est.)
$1,700 (2015 est.)
$1,600 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving11.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
4.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
14.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 80.7%
government consumption: 9.7%
investment in fixed capital: 19.1%
investment in inventories: -1.5%
exports of goods and services: 24.8%
imports of goods and services: -32.8% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 21.4%
industry: 15.6%
services: 63% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line48.4% (2010 est.)
Labor force777,100 (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 75%
industry: 19%
services: 6% (1996)
Unemployment rateNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 36.9% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index50.2 (1998)

Budgetrevenues: $231.5 million
expenditures: $323.6 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues26.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-10.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)7.4% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate9% (31 December 2009)
11% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate30.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
30.8% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$236.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$275.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$534.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
$511.5 million (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$420.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$466.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productsrice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats
Industriespeanuts, fish, hides, tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing
Industrial production growth rate1.2% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$97 million (2016 est.)
-$134 million (2015 est.)
Exports$120 million (2016 est.)
$113.2 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiespeanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels
Exports - partnersChina 47.7%, India 27.1%, France 5.9%, UK 4.9% (2015)
Imports$363.9 million (2016 est.)
$365.1 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
Imports - partnersChina 34.3%, Brazil 8.2%, Senegal 6.9%, India 5.8%, Netherlands 4.8% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$91.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$83.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - externalg: $541.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$502.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesdalasis (GMD) per US dollar -
44.5 (2016 est.)
41.89 (2015 est.)
41.89 (2014 est.)
41.733 (2013 est.)
32.08 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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